Fantastic photos from around the Ring, Part 2

28.02.2018

English roses, Greek temples, German toilets and horses from Spain …

A walk through the Volksgarten gives you the impression that someone was trying to show off.  A white miniature edition of the Athenian Theseus Temple in the midst of a magnificent rose garden, overlooking the Town Hall on one side and on the other, surrounded by Greek deities and Sisi and Grillparzer monuments, the capital’s second oldest  public convenience.  In fact, many visitors miss one of the most famous toilets in Vienna. The "Häusl" or “little house”, as we say here, was only the second of its kind in the whole of Vienna. For “only four kreutzer" anyone – either male or female - could go in and to see to their business - the very practical invention of an enterprising man from Berlin, who also thus brought the "Klofrauen" or “toilet attendants” to Vienna. (Living legends, which today - like caretakers - hardly exist anymore). By the way, there are 13 "public conveniences" in Vienna which are listed as historical monuments. So if you want to go home with really special photos in your pocket, you can leave the Sisi statue with a clear conscience and ask one of the friendly park keepers for a photo in front of Vienna's second oldest toilet!
 

Ring stories

Museums, palaces, theatres, cafés and other important institutions rub shoulders with each other here.

Discover now

At the end of a leisurely stroll through the capital’s first "public garden" you will reach the Heldenplatz (Heroes' Square). After a mélange (read: Mähloonsch) in the Café Meierei and a first look at the provisional parliament building (the venerable halls vis-à-vis are being restored) it is time for the wide-angle or the panoramic function on the mobile phone. What you can see stretching over a few hundred metres here is the Hofburg or imperial palace. In addition to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and the famous Spanish Riding School, the large central part - the Neue Burg - houses the Austrian National Library.

Secret passages to the palm splendour

From here, most walk back and along the Ring to the entrance of the Burggarten.  Vienna experts and experienced "flaneurs" prefer to take the small passage "In der Burg" which is hidden opposite the monument to Emperor Franz I. Just a few metres, which will take you across on one of the many inner courtyards, will show you the traces of innumerable conversions and additions which have taken place here over the centuries. If you are interested in architectural history and want a photo souvenir other than the postcard clichés, then the beautiful shortcut to the Burggarten with its fascinating nooks and corners should not be missed. 
 

Bitzinger Würstler hinter der Albertina | © Café Bitzinger

Art, culture and legendary sausage stands

The path from the National Library to the State Opera is not just dotted with museums, art and butterflies. You will find legendary Austrian snacks , like sausages, meat loaf and little pink cakes.

Discover now
©Café Bitzinger

"The sunken box"

Back on the Ring, past the twin museums and the entrance to the Hofburg, then Voila! the"grand finale" of this stately photo safari: the Vienna State Opera. The "First House on the Ring" is (and rightly so!) one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
The Viennese themselves were - again - originally not so happy with the first project on the Ringstrasse. Because the level of the ring was subsequently raised by one metre, the Viennese somewhat maliciously called the then “court opera” the "sunken box".
All the great stars of the opera world have sung here. Most recently, Tom Cruise caused a sensation as he swung from the roof of the building in "Mission Impossible 5".


In 2012, for the first time, the walls did not reverberate with grandiose opera voices, but with the finest electro sounds and around 2,400 people dancing. For one night tradition and modernity, classical musicians and world-famous DJs met at the "Electr.Oper" - the first and (to date) only in the history of the Vienna State Opera.


Even experienced selfie hunters would now be tempted to take a photo of themselves with the opera in the background - as do dozens of tourists who (much to the annoyance of motorists and tram drivers) squeeze onto a  tiny traffic island diagonally opposite and try to do just that. Instead, we suggest you continue to walking.
 

The many faces of Karlsplatz

Christmas market, tango studio, bar mile, stage for buskers, open-air cinema – the area in front of Charles Church is sometimes quiet, sometimes an eccentric stage and sometimes a fairground for the whole city. 
 

Discover now

The right detours 

It is best to turn right now into the Akademiestrasse. Go past Vienna’s Stadtkino (cinema) in the Künstlerhaus and then, on a level with the famous Musikverein, through the subway – where, if you are lucky, one of the many music student who hang around here, will be giving a free concert. The subway takes you directly to Resselpark, right next to Charles Church. In the warm summer months you will mainly find locals here who buy a drink from one of the kiosks and then put their tired feet in the cool water of the fountain to watch the spectacular sunset behind Charles Church. If your legs are still up to it, you can practise dancing the tango. On warm summer evenings you can be entertained in the “largest small city in the world” by a Kurd and his Basque wife who show you how to dance an Argentinian tango.  With a lot of heart and soul! If you haven’t done so already, this is time for a selfie – Vienna style. 
 

hotels: Hotel Rathauspark, Hotel Europa Wien, Hotel Astoria, Hotel Ananas

Autor

Ronni

Born in Simmering in Vienna and a passionate young driver of Vienna’s horse-drawn carriages, he has a weakness for literature and stories from the backyard. He loves to show the city to strangers and to tell them stories that not everyone knows.  Ronni knows that Vienna is really a village. And he likes that at least as much as his job.

more articles by the author

our newest tips

A guide through the jungle of advent markets

Vienna is famous for its Christmas markets. Kitschy or cool – we’ll show you where to go.

Read on   →

Wintery hotspots at Christmas time

Don't miss out on a visit to these charming Christmas markets this year.

Read on   →

Traditional cuisine in Austria

Boiled beef, Viennese schnitzel, Tyrolean dumplings. Where Austrian specialities taste the best.

Read on   →